Electrification of York rail route could be in jeopardy, MPs warned

Electrification of York rail route could be in jeopardy, MPs warned

Electrification of York rail route could be in jeopardy, MPs warned

First published in News
Last updated

RAIL chiefs have refused to guarantee that electrification of the line between York and Manchester will go ahead – warning that the cost is still unknown.

Flagship plans to electrify the trans-Pennine route – allowing faster, ‘greener’ services – are in jeopardy, an inquiry by MPs was told.

Funding was announced back in 2011 and work has already begun altering bridges on a project described as “vital” for economic growth by Network Rail.

But now the organisation has admitted there is no firm cost for the scheme – and, therefore, a risk that it may yet have to be delayed or scrapped.

Asked if electrification will definitely go ahead, Paul Plummer, Network Rail’s strategy director, told the Commons transport select committee: “I can’t give you that absolute, categorical confirmation.”

The admission is potentially embarrassing for George Osborne, who has vowed to deliver far more ambitious – and expensive – plans for a high-speed rail line across the Pennines.

The Department for Transport sought to play down the possible threat to electrification, saying it was confident its proposals were deliverable.

Comments (4)

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9:45am Sat 12 Jul 14

Dave Ruddock says...

and the other rail projects died as well, rather embarrassing for the Rail bosses and the Treasury although expected, Both have NOT learned from previous experiences from other inept companies.

Estimate Costs then add a "0" zero , that gets the costing closer ..
and the other rail projects died as well, rather embarrassing for the Rail bosses and the Treasury although expected, Both have NOT learned from previous experiences from other inept companies. Estimate Costs then add a "0" zero , that gets the costing closer .. Dave Ruddock
  • Score: -1

12:50pm Sat 12 Jul 14

gravitydrips says...

Of course the funding is at risk. It's not a London-centric transport project so why would the government give a monkeys. They can find billions for HS1, HS2 and Crossrail but anything north of home counties no chance.
Saying that why do we want electrification over the Pennines? IF this project did go ahead can the powers that be guarantee reliability of the overhead cables in the winter?
Of course the funding is at risk. It's not a London-centric transport project so why would the government give a monkeys. They can find billions for HS1, HS2 and Crossrail but anything north of home counties no chance. Saying that why do we want electrification over the Pennines? IF this project did go ahead can the powers that be guarantee reliability of the overhead cables in the winter? gravitydrips
  • Score: 5

10:59pm Sat 12 Jul 14

lisadunster says...

A hastily introduced scheme for the Leeds-Manchester route(then cobbled into the branches of Scarborough and Middlesboro)advanced over other scheduled upgrades in November 2011,it was a surprising "out of the blue" announcement following the release of a Employment Appeal Tribunal judgment which has bearing on the route track condition,the 185 traction and a strange test Delta Rail Ambimon conducted by FTPE(the Train Company) and sanctioned it appeared according to them by the local RMT union!! Many internal observers doubted its validly at the time and continue to do so now!
A hastily introduced scheme for the Leeds-Manchester route(then cobbled into the branches of Scarborough and Middlesboro)advanced over other scheduled upgrades in November 2011,it was a surprising "out of the blue" announcement following the release of a Employment Appeal Tribunal judgment which has bearing on the route track condition,the 185 traction and a strange test Delta Rail Ambimon conducted by FTPE(the Train Company) and sanctioned it appeared according to them by the local RMT union!! Many internal observers doubted its validly at the time and continue to do so now! lisadunster
  • Score: 0

8:51am Sun 13 Jul 14

StellaEO'Donnell says...

Second thoughts by the Infrastructure provider! Not surprised is the attitude from many. A very expensive undertaking to electrify the Manchester to Leeds route given the number of tunnels,over-bridges
,general restrictions and the lack of potential diversion route if the Calder Valley remains non electrified.It only received new diesel powered German built Siemens Desiro stock a few years ago albeit they are most uncomfortable modern trains I have ever ridden more like a rapid transit tramcar. Its Nov 2011 electrification announcement without clear direction or extent is is believed in London to be a political decision as a response to questions asked at high level reference matters in the Northern Rail industry over issues over safety,employment and costings.A further recent knee jerk by Chancellor Osborne over HS3 does not help the North reach a positive way forward that it can realistically work towards. My home town Harrogate is difficult to reach by rail,its branch status since the sixties only allows railbus type operation yet with immense rider-ship,conferenc
e,trade and much international visitors herded into rattling noisy cars with no facilities.Yet millions of pounds are spent debating,planning and retracting a multitude of proposals.Never mind, it is often the same in my own home country on many railroad matters a political pass the parcel for congresspeople..
Second thoughts by the Infrastructure provider! Not surprised is the attitude from many. A very expensive undertaking to electrify the Manchester to Leeds route given the number of tunnels,over-bridges ,general restrictions and the lack of potential diversion route if the Calder Valley remains non electrified.It only received new diesel powered German built Siemens Desiro stock a few years ago albeit they are most uncomfortable modern trains I have ever ridden more like a rapid transit tramcar. Its Nov 2011 electrification announcement without clear direction or extent is is believed in London to be a political decision as a response to questions asked at high level reference matters in the Northern Rail industry over issues over safety,employment and costings.A further recent knee jerk by Chancellor Osborne over HS3 does not help the North reach a positive way forward that it can realistically work towards. My home town Harrogate is difficult to reach by rail,its branch status since the sixties only allows railbus type operation yet with immense rider-ship,conferenc e,trade and much international visitors herded into rattling noisy cars with no facilities.Yet millions of pounds are spent debating,planning and retracting a multitude of proposals.Never mind, it is often the same in my own home country on many railroad matters a political pass the parcel for congresspeople.. StellaEO'Donnell
  • Score: 1

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